One of the most common questions I receive is, “What blog or website platform should I use?”
There are so many options, and so many tradeoffs involved, that I’ve always hesitated to answer this for people. If you want a lot of control and flexibility, it’s going to be more difficult and potentially time-wasting. If you want to get going quickly and easily, you might have to sacrifice control and flexibility. You can easily waste money over-paying for things you don’t need, but you can also sell yourself short by choosing free options that don’t provide functionality you will probably need sooner or later. So it all depends on where you sit within these tradeoffs, but after thinking about it many times, I do think there’s one solution that’s probably the best solution for most indie thinkers. This won’t be the right choice for everyone, but if you’re not sure then here is what I will recommend.
My default recommendation is to buy a custom domain name and use the free, open-source version of Wordpress, but on a paid hosting solution. This requires one short bit of slightly technical setup (which I walk you through in the attached video), but after that—it’s super easy, and then you have a flexible, powerful website that can grow with your needs. And no ads like on the Wordpress.com blogs you see around!
There are tons of places to buy domains and tons of places to host your Wordpress site, but in this tutorial I will just suggest the ones that I’ve always used. Namecheap for domains and Siteground for hosting. (Links to Siteground here are affiliate links, which means I get a kickback if you decide to use them. I’m recommending Siteground because I’ve always used Siteground, and that was based on my own research into different options.)
At the time of this writing, Siteground Wordpress hosting is only $.33 per month! After fees and taxes that turns out to be about $35 for 12 months. I think this is excellent for the simplicity, reliability, and room-to-grow you’ll enjoy with this approach. A domain should only cost you about $10 unless you want something fancy. Tip: Go for short and memorable and easy to tell someone verbally. Your whole name is the obvious choice, if available.